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US Kratom Research: Congress Funds New Kratom Research

In December 2019, Congress passed the Appropriations Bill to help adjust and set the budget for the 2020 fiscal year. Each year, this bill can help to set up where money within the government will go and what types of output we can expect.

This year, the appropriations bill included specific distinctions for funding additional research on substances like marijuana, kratom, and cannabinol. Depending on how that research funding is divided and spent in the academic world, there is a good chance that we will see some new studies and results about kratom this year.

Kratom research is very important for the future of safe kratom usage in America. While kratom is a safe substance, proper monitoring and safety requirements for kratom companies could be improved if there was more solid research about this unique substance.

Additionally, there is a good chance that kratom could be developed into an opioid alternative, so more research into kratom could do wonders for the current opioid crisis in America.

Let’s review the Appropriations Bill and see what exactly is covered in the agreement.

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What’s New In These Bills?

On December 17, 2019, the House passed through some legislation that would finalize the twelve fiscal funding bills needed for 2020. The bills they passed went through some further changes in the Senate before being passed. Now, H.R. 1865 and H.R. 1158 are in place and ready to set up the budgets for most government-funded organizations in the 2020 fiscal year.

These bills are the result of bipartisan negotiations, so they cover a wide variety of areas in a very balanced way.

While the various areas covered in this fiscal planning is very interesting, we are more interested in some research-focused funding that has been set aside in these government plans.

Kratom, Cannabis, and Other Natural Substances

Research allocated in these bills is set up to allow for more research on kratom, cannabis, and other natural substances. While it has become more and more common for these types of allocations to be made, it’s always great to see that there is a continued interest in finding out more about these substances that we are still working to fully understand.

Kratom Allocations

The opioid crisis an ongoing problem in America, and some politicians and activists have been trying to find ways to improve the situation for years. One popular opinion is that we need to find opioid alternatives that are less dangerous and addictive, so ongoing studies are focused on doing just that.

In the FY2020 Appropriations decisions, Congress set aside a minimum of $1 million dollars to be used in the search for an opioid alternative. In particular, the bills mentioned that kratom and CBD should be researched as potential opioid alternatives.

Kratom has been studied to limited degrees in America because the laws about kratom are not clear in every state and are very unclear on a national scale. For that reason, it is hard for kratom to be properly studied. With this new allocation that specifically includes kratom as a potential alternative to opioids for pain relief and other medical uses.

Research like this could be a major turning point for the future of kratom in America, so we will be keeping an eye on any potential studies that will come out of this funding.

Cannabis Inclusions

Another interesting inclusion in these appropriations was CBD. In addition to requestion that kratom is studied as an alternative for opioids, the National Institute for Health was also tasked with doing more research about whether or not CBD-based medications could be used as an alternative to opioids as well.

Congress also tasked the National Institute on Drug Abuse to analyze why cannabis is still being listed as a scheduled drug and what can be done to change this status. As of now, it is difficult to do research about cannabis as a federally-funded scientist because of this scheduled status. Should that status change, research will be able to happen more frequently.

Hemp Farming Specifics

Another area that was allocated some extra money was the hemp farming industry. The hemp industry has been struggling to come as strongly as it could despite the support provided by the Farming Act of 2018. This could be because the tenants of that act have not yet been fully enforced, so Congress set aside $16.5 million to ensure that the hemp industry can grow.

Hemp, as you might know, is an industrial crop that is used for industrial and manufacturing purposes. While hemp was banned as a crop many years ago, it is now being encouraged as a cash crop for many farmers in America.

Additional Points of Interest

The points made about kratom and CBD are great to hear, but these aren’t the only things that were decided in these appropriations. As mentioned, these appropriations are setting up the budget for the 2020 fiscal year, and that budget includes much more than research and provisions about natural substances.

Here are just a few of the interesting allocations made throughout these bills:

  • $10 million to research and prevent antibiotic-resistance
  • Funding money to promote health literacy
  • Increase in funding for the Bureau of Labor Statistics 
  • Over $7 billion for the decennial 2020 Census
  • Additional money to include Puerto Rico and U.S. territories in the Census
  • 8% increase in funding for the CDC
  • Dedicated CDC funding on gun research for the first time in 20 years

As you can see, there are a lot of considerations made throughout these appropriations that cover a wide variety of areas. It’s great to see kratom being included as an important topic worthy of additional funding alongside such important issues.

Going forward, it will be interesting to see how frequently more unique and inventive studies about natural substances like kratom and CBD will be included in federally funded research opportunities. These substances have been studied in a limited fashion, so additional studies could revolutionize various aspects of the medical world.

Only time will tell what these studies will find!